Alternative Fuel and Transportation

Published on July 13th, 2009 | by Derek Markham


Follow the Crop System Puts Biofuel Refinery in the Fields

A new biofuel production system, dubbed “Follow the Crop”, aims to reduce the costs of production and increase the income of small to medium growers by bringing the biorefinery right into the fields. The new system would open the biofuels market to smallholders, who could put marginal lands into biofuel crops without committing to large scale planting.

Image:wharmanCorn Field

Corn Field

“We’re taking the biomass conversion process out of the biorefinery and taking it to the field.” – Bob Kozak, Atlantic Biomass President

The biotech biofuel company in Frederick, MD, Atlantic Biomass, introduced their “Follow-the Crop” biofuel production system at US Representative Roscoe Bartlett’s GO-Green Energy Conference on June 29th, saying that it would overcome the “Transportation Conundrum” of biofuels created by the high cost of transporting bulky, low density biomass from farm to biorefinery.

“Follow-the-Crop will transform the advanced biofuels industry into one coherent
system rather than remaining a collection of uncoordinated, geographically constrained small industrial facilities. By changing the feedstock of biofuel refineries from individual specialized crops into common commodities, the entire biofuel industry can then respond to real market forces.”

Follow CropThe production system centers around Atlantic Biomass’ proprietary enzyme process, and is based on the portable ethanol production system that Encore Biofuels is currently engineering, using retrofitted shipping containers with internal environmental controls. The modules will convert low-density, low value biomass into high density biofuel intermediates, which can then be shipped to large scale biorefineries for chemical or thermochemical conversion into finished biofuels.

According to Atlantic Biomass Conversions, “with
a sustainable cost-efficient biomass production system based on “Follow-the-Crop,” biofuel prices can be fairly set”

Atlantic Biomass is dedicated to making biofuel production both profitable and environmentally sustainable, and has been working on a project to convert low-value sugar beet pulp into feedstocks for JP-8 jetfuel for the U.S. military.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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